Monday, August 27, 2012

Bird cookie

I came across this recipe for no-melt "suet" to feed birds which I will share. One does not have to have the handy-dandy vinyl coated wire "cages" to put it -- for a while I had a tree limb with holes drilled in the sides that I would pack it it in.

1 cup chunky peanut butter
2 cups quick cook oats
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup lard (must be lard -- store-bought or rendered at home -- do not substitute).
1 cup white flour

Melt the lard and peanut butter together, stir in the rest of the ingredients.
Pour into a freezer container that is about 1-1/2 inches thick... or a metal cake pan... or directly into your wire "suet feeders" or.... and freeze.

Now... if money is tight and you want to leave out the peanut butter -- you can add an extra cup of lard, or reduce the amount of oatmeal and cornmeal a little so it is has a similar consistency.

I was very annoyed to see that some words in my last post were automatically linked to third-party advertising that I have nothing to do with. Until I can figure out how to make Blogger stop doing that, there may be some strangely spelled words here and there.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

It starts with a lizard...

I have noticed that long gaps are appearing in the blogs of quite a few of the writers that I pay attention to. I suspect for some it is just “summer” and too much is going on, some have gotten tired of writing for their blog and let it lapse, some are involved in other writing projects – like books! Which is the explanation for the gap of more than a year that appeared in a blog I was first encouraged to read in 2008 by someone on the copyeditors news group.

I am not sure why I have let such a huge gap develop here – I guess, like what is happening with a lot of  other people, there is just too much going on at the moment and although I think about writing, I just don’t get around to it. However, with “gorilla moments” coming with more frequency, I have found this on-line journal has become a valuable “memory keeper” and one important reason why I can’t let it lapse. 

One of Far Side’s recent posts reminded me of something that happened here since the last time I wrote -- except I have never had anything quite as exciting as a pileated woodpecker at my feeder -- and that I had been meaning to write about but just couldn’t seem to find the time…
It all starts with a lizard. 

The st9or8m do6or at the back door doesn’t shut tightly unless it is persuaded to do so, and so most of the day it is not latched and there is a slight gap at the bottom, and small creatures--and the occasional wren snooping around the porch--have a habit of coming right on in.

Thus I was not surprised one recent afternoon to see a lizard running around inside the house by the back door. 

I am very fond of these little guys, because once upon a time I happened to see one on the porch race out from behind a potted plant and eat a cockroach.

I scared the lizard, but instead of running back outside through the gap, it ran into the mess on the floor in what passes for our clothes closet. What does the floor of your clothes closet look like? And I suppose it does not have to be anybody else’s bus6ine1ss what it looks like, because all you have to do is close the door to the closet.

I don’t have the luxury of a proper clothes closet with a door that I can shut. This house has no clothes closets. Our clothes hang on a 7-foot dowel in the space between the back wall of the back room and the kitchen wall, and there is a shelf on top of that were we store the toilet paper and some other items.

I can’t even describe everything on the floor under the hanging clothes – a covered cat lzittzer bozzx, a 5-gallon pail of popcorn, a box of clothes that belonged to my mother than I can’t figure out what to do with and can’t part with, a baking stone, a fire extinguisher, wicker baskets for clothes that need to be washed…

As the hands on the clock approach 4:00 in the afternoon we try to entice the Evil Kitty into the house and make sure the back door is firmly latched. We have learned the hard way that if she is still outside when the sun goes down that she is impossible to catch and then will wake us up at 3 a.m. wanting in.  

The day passed and I decided I better make sure the lizard was out of the house before I shut the door for the evening. I tore into the mess under the clothes to make sure it was still not hiding.

I did not find the lizard, but I was very pleasantly surprised to find something I didn’t even realize I had lost: one of the suet feeders that I put out in the Fall with blocks of “bird cookie,” a mixture of lard, oatmeal, corn meal, flour and peanut butter. I make enough to fill four of them, and then put out two at a time – one on each side of the house. 

Last fall when I brought in the last empty one, I had obviously dropped it top of the popcorn bucket and then got distracted and did not put it with the 3 other suet feeders that were now empty. In the meantime, it got knocked off and buried in the mess.

After I found it I could see what might have been: On one of those late summer days I would have prepared a batch of bird cookie and collected the suet feeders and found only 3 instead of 4 and would have become very frustrated as I looked in various likely places for the missing one and would have wasted a lot of time not finding it. 

So, lizard, you can come on in come on in any time…